The wind slams against frosted windows this February morning. The smell of a hickory fire, and sizzling bacon emanate through the kitchen, in my hand is a scalding cup of coffee, grounds from the bottom speckle my tongue.
The dog, Hermes, scratches feverently at the door, needing to do his business. Had I known he would be this much of a handful, I would have left him homeless on the street. I reach to scratch behind his ears as I rise, truly appreciating the companionship he offers, and open the door to the blustery wind long enough to let him out. As I sit to enjoy my bacon and coffee, I’m interrupted by the dogs barking, he can’t be done already, I know the cold must bite through his mane as it does my bones.
I arise to permit him back in, but as I do I see what the dog has been barking at… a woman, a white shawl covers her head and she is facing away from the wind, sheltering what I don’t know. Her shoulders slumped, head heavy, I rush out the door in my long johns to rush her in; the winter is enemy to all God’s creatures this day. I don’t notice until I’m upon her that she is black, a slave, a runaway perhaps.
Well, regardless of her color, she must come in from the cold. I cough to get her attention, the howling wind had masked my approach, as I cough she turns suddenly, almost dropping a package… a bundle, a child. God has sent me two lives this day.
I bring the girl child and her young into my home, Hermes following, tail wagging his message delivered.